Live and work in a remote part of Botswana, in the savannah-like landscape of the Southern African bush. You’ll help us protect local wildlife, like elephants, leopards, lions, and more. This is an amazing chance to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat and learn about real conservation work.
Get involved and get your hands dirty working on elephant research, anti-poaching patrols, and much more. You’ll be supervised by conservation experts and help us with our mission to create a space where animals can roam freely and thrive.
You’ll be based at the Wild at Tuli reserve by the Limpopo River. Spend the hot afternoons cooling down alongside the pool and evenings exchanging stories around the fire with your fellow volunteers.
This wildlife conservation volunteer project is the ultimate bush adventure and we’d love to have you along for the ride!
Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price
We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1 212 244 7234 for more info.
When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 212 244 7234 to see if we can offer a discount.
Completely flexible dates
Anyone aged over 16 can join
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
A supervisor/mentor at your work placement
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Visa support and advice
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
Is wildlife conservation volunteering in Botswana right for me?
This wildlife conservation volunteer opportunity in Botswana is open to all ages. It’s especially well suited to anyone with a passion for the great outdoors and conserving wildlife.
If you’ve been craving a break from constant connection and city or suburban life, this off the beaten track adventure is just what you need.
Pursuing a career in conservation? This project offers a perfect balance between research and doing hands-on work. You will also be learning from conservation experts, giving you a good all-round experience to add to your CV. You can use this experience in interviews and talk about what you learned and the challenges you faced.
What conservation volunteer work will I do in Botswana?
As a volunteer on this Conservation Project, you provide the much-needed and vital manpower to protect wildlife in the Wild at Tuli reserve.
Here are some of the tasks you can expect to do during your placement:
- Conduct elephant research to help track population growth, movement and family units
- Undertake anti-poaching patrols and help get rid of snares
- Help build waterholes and ensure that they are always full
- Do species surveys to help us track the population density of certain birds, animals and vegetation
Your work will be divided into four main categories:
Help us conduct elephant research
The Tuli region is home to a large elephant population, which is one of the most exciting things about the area. However, these gentle giants do have quite an impact on the environment with their 12 - 18 hour-a-day feeding habit.
For this reason, it’s important for us to keep track of their population growth and movement. You'll help us do this by taking part in elephant research. For example, you'll help identify and record individual elephants and their family groups. You'll also learn how to spot and record movement patterns.
Illegal poaching of bush meat is a major challenge to wildlife conservation in Botswana. As a conservation volunteer, you will help reduce poaching in the Tuli area. You will mainly do this by joining local staff members in removing snares around the reserve.
In 2017, our Conservation volunteers removed over 1,500 snares in Botswana. We've seen a decrease in the number of snares as well as an increase in the amount of wildlife in the past years. We hope that this might indicate a decrease in poaching activity, but we need you to help us continue these efforts.
You will never be expected to take part in any anti-poaching activities that could risk confrontation with poachers.
Water is scarce in Southern Africa, so we have to work to conserve it.
As a Conservation volunteer, you will help us construct and repair waterholes, boreholes and rainwater tanks. This will ensure that water is caught up during the wet season and that there is lots of fresh water during the dry season.
Keeping tabs on the movements of wild animals is no easy feat, but we manage to do a pretty good job with our ongoing surveys. During your time in Botswana, you may help us with a bird census, a crocodile sensus, spoor identification or compiling an inventory of all the mammal species in the reserve.
We’re currently conducting a survey of all the baobab trees in the reserve and doing a thorough vegetation mapping project.
By doing these surveys, you will help us prove this area of Botswana is unique, wild and an essential area for protecting biodiversity in Southern Africa. In turn, this helps us achieve the longer-term aim of establishing a legally binding conservancy for the central Tuli area.
Who are our project partners?
We partner with the Wild at Tuli Reserve in Botswana.
The reserve is owned by Dr Helena Fitchat and Mrs Judi Gounaris, two unique women who share a spirit of adventure and undying passion for the magic of the African Wilderness and its wildlife.
Where in Botswana will I be working?
Wild At Tuli
During your time doing conservation volunteer work in Botswana, you will be based at the Projects Abroad Wild at Tuli reserve, which is close to the border of South Africa.
Located on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River you will find yourself in the very heart of the bush. With a large elephant population, crocodiles lazing happily in the warm river sand and a nightly lullaby of hyena giggles and lion roars, Tuli is truly a wild place.
The Wild at Tuli camp where you will be staying has a rustic, safari feel to it. You can spend starry evenings exchanging stories next to the campfire with other volunteers and local staff members, and hot afternoons cooling down in the pristine pool.
We encourage you to fully-immerse yourself in the experience. However, while the project is thoroughly risk assessed and supervised, please do remember there will be wild animals around. Therefore, our policy is that you must never leave camp without a qualified staff member.
A typical volunteering day at Wild at Tuli
As a Conservation volunteer in Botswana, you can expect to work five or six hours a day. Your workload will be divided as follows:
- Four hours of hard work during the cool morning hours
- Two hours of less demanding tasks in the late afternoon
In the mornings, you will typically help our local staff members do things like dig water holes, join an anti-poaching patrol to remove snares and do some spoor identification.
Because mid-afternoon can be incredibly hot, you’ll use these hours to eat, sleep, swim, relax, and read.
Late afternoons and early evenings are the perfect times to conduct surveys, as animals and birds emerge from their midday slumber to quench their thirst at waterholes. You may also join rangers on another anti-poaching patrol.
Since you will be sharing accommodation with your fellow volunteers, you will be able to spend your evenings and weekends getting to know each other better. Share knowledge and go on memorable excursions, such as bush walks or game drives.
What are the aims and impact of this Conservation Project?
The aim of this volunteer Conservation Project is to preserve land and ensure the survival of precious wildlife species facing a range of threats.
Located at the place where Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe meet, Tuli has seen a decrease in wildlife populations. This is due to:
- encroachment of human settlements
- illegal hunting
- land degradation
By doing species research, soil erosion control, necessary construction, and anti-poaching drives, we are helping preserve what is left of this highly sensitive Botswana wilderness.
The ultimate goal is to create a legally binding protected conservancy by combining Wild at Tuli reserve with other game reserves, national parks, and conservation areas in the region.
By joining forces with these other reserves and parks, we can create one powerful voice. This will help boost the message of conservation even more in Botswana. Become a volunteer to help make this happen!
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
I am extremely proud to have been part of a group that helped to remove a whopping 47 snares in one anti-poaching activity. Knowing it may prevent another animal suffering like this makes me feel like we achieved something.
I decided on the Conservation project in South Africa/Botswana because the idea of working in such a secluded and animal-orientated environment was a very exciting prospect for me.
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